Chicken is anything but a run-of-the-mill dinner when it is paired with a bright sauce made with tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds that is ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cooking (and easily available at most grocery stores). For a gluten-free meal, serve the chicken over a bed of spinach leaves and top with the red onion and tahini sauce.
Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 2 lb. (1 kg) total, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the tahini sauce:
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 Tbs. tahini
1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 red onion, halved and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) slices
3 pita breads, halved and carefully split to create 6 pockets
Romaine lettuce leaves, torn to fit inside pitas
2 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
In a bowl, stir together 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, the curry, cumin, garlic and lemon juice. Add the chicken, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, garlic, tahini, cilantro, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan or frying pan over high heat or build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. When the pan or grill is very hot, add the onion and grill, turning occasionally, until nicely browned all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Do not wipe the pan clean.
Add the chicken to the pan or grill and grill, turning once, until opaque throughout and lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
To assemble, carefully fill the pita pockets with the grilled chicken and onion, lettuce leaves, and tomato slices and top with a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
For more fresh ideas about how to prepare chicken, whether for a quick family meal or an impressive weekend spread, check out our Chicken Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week.